Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
New shoes can be a totally awesome addition to my wardrobe — or rather, some pairs are until I actually wear them for the first time. Even though I stand slightly on the tall side at 5’9″, I’m a total sucker for an awesome new pair of heels every now and again. Let’s just say that I no longer wonder how the term “killer heels” started to be used.
It was a term that I usually whip out to describe a completely stunning pair of shoes, though I’ve had my fair share of experience with the double-edged meaning of the term.
Beauty is more than skin deep. Cliché? Sure. True. Abso-friggin-lutely. I feel like a lot of importance is placed on appearances in our culture here in the US of A. While I may choose to make my feet suffer on occasion for the sake of fashion so that I can don a truly spectacular pair of heels, I have to draw the line somewhere.
And that particular line is drawn on this side of my riding apparel and gear. I take the stance that how an item performs is equally, if not more so, important than how it looks. (I just tend to overlook the protests of my feet when wearing the killer heels — it’s a cost-benefit ratio kind of thing).
When I’m tacking up one of my horses to go for a ride, properly fitting and comfortable gear is essential. Having tack that works well for them without any impediments is something I want to provide to help them do their jobs better.
Back in the spring, I started using the Therawool Modified Jumping Square Pad and a number of memory foam inserts from Fleeceworks. I’ve had a very educational journey since I started using the Fleeceworks Therawool Perfect Balance Technology system of pads, as well as all of the inserts.
My journey still continues on, as I’ve also been using the Therawool Dressage Square Pad along with some different insert options. I very much like the clean and crisp appearance that a white square pad provides. But I think that one of my own personal favorite features of the Therawool Dressage Square Pad is that it incorporates Fleeceworks’ Perfect Balance Technology.
Why do I focus on the Perfect Balance Technology? Because all of the inserts that I used in the Modified Jumping Square Pad can also be switched into the Dressage Square Pad for use.
I like efficiency, so it is great to have two pads designed for totally different uses that can hold the same inserts. I look at this as being more budget friendly and a way to save space in my tack room.
I’ve definitely found that the original memory foam and memory foam lite inserts do indeed both work well with the Therawool Dressage Pad. But at the same time, I’ve also liked using a newer and totally different type of insert as well, the Fleeceworks Wool Ecofelt insert.
The wool ecofelt inserts were a completely new concept to me. When I first learned about these particular inserts, I was lucky enough to have one sitting in front of me so that I could pick it up and check it out. They are certainly different than a traditional insert.
These inserts are made out of pure wool felt, and I found it interesting that they feel more firm to the touch — though they still have some give to them. In my mind, I equate riding with a wool ecofelt to sleeping on a mattress that is more firm, as opposed to one that is softer or made out of memory foam.
The wool ecofelt inserts come as full length inserts, front inserts or rear inserts — and they are available in both a quarter-inch and half-inch thickness so that they can be stacked to achieve the optimal depth that you would like in your padding. The wool ecofelt inserts can also be trimmed as needed.
I feel like the wool ecofelt inserts offer a more natural alternative choice in terms of inserts. They are designed to help distribute and eliminate pressure on the back.
In my experience, I have liked using the wool ecofelt inserts. Normally with the memory foam inserts, I notice that they compress some and mold to fill the space between my horse’s back and the saddle once I put the pad in place and sit the saddle on it.
The wool ecofelt is different though. I have noticed that the wool ecofelt does not seem to really compress during use; when I remove the insert from the pad after use, it looks like it starts to mold and conform to the shape of my horse’s back.
You may also recall that I am a fan of the Therawool pads because I like the fact that this particular fabric is easy for me to maintain. Therawool pads are able to be thrown into the wash and then simply brushed out again to use. Therawool is also a sustainable fabric, which means that it is made from wool sheered from sheep as opposed to whole hides, which makes me smile (I do brake for animals).
Each style of the Therawool Square Pads — Dressage, Jumping and Modified Jumping — all have a retail price of $160. Click here to find a tack store near you that carries Fleeceworks products.
Go Easy-to-Maintain Pads with Interchangeable Inserts. Go Fleeceworks. Go Eventing.